Are US oil rigs under attack by terrorists?

By | May 1, 2010

“The U.S. Coast Guard said Friday it was responding to an overturned oil rig in an inland canal near Morgan City, Louisiana. The rig is not leaking fuel at this time, the Coast Guard said, but 500 feet of containment boom has been deployed around the rig as a precaution. The mobile inland drilling unit overturned in the Charenton navigational canal, the Coast Guard said.”

A second oil rig overturned?

There are no coincidences: As news spread of a second oil rig overturning, conspiracy theories blossomed .

But then came the news Friday afternoon that a second oil rig has “overturned” near Morgan City, Louisiana. Details were sketchy in the immediate aftermath of the news breaking, but who needs details?! An epidemic of dark muttering swiftly broke out in some of the more conspiratorially minded neighborhoods of the Net.

“There is no such thing as a coincidence. Something’s up,” declared one poster at Free Republic.

“Earth to Obama!…Do you know something you’re not telling us???”

“If only one jet had flown into the WTC on 911 we would all still talking about what a tragic accident it was……”

“It just fell over, all by itself… Nothing to see here. Move along, move along….”

Yes, it must be true: “The USA is under attack by oil rig destroyers.” Environmental whacko saboteurs are on the loose! Can’t you see? The signs of a classic Communist plot are everywhere: Destroying the ecology of the Gulf in the cause of destroying the American energy industry! Paging Michael Crichton: You were right!

OK, I admit, I took that last quote from the site Godlike Productions, which explicitly defines labels itself as “UFOs, Conspiracy Theorists, Lunatic Fringe.” So maybe a grain of salt is in order. On the other hand, as any observer of American political discourse in the past few years knows all too well, the distance between the lunatic fringe and the floor of the Senate has never been shorter.

News flash from the real world: The Associated Press is now reporting that it’s not clear the second rig even contains any oil or fuel — and wasn’t actively drilling.

Officials say an oil drilling rig on its way to a scrap yard has overturned in Louisiana… The rig overturned about 80 miles west-southwest of New Orleans. The Coast Guard said in a news release Friday that the drilling unit overturned in the Charenton navigational canal.  – salon

About the BP Gulf of Mexico spill:

Size of Spill in Gulf of Mexico Is Larger Than Thought

“Government officials said late Wednesday night that oil might be leaking from a well in the Gulf of Mexico at a rate five times that suggested by initial estimates. …

An explosion and fire on a drilling rig on April 20 left 11 workers missing and presumed dead. The rig sank two days later about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast.

Doug Suttles, chief operating officer for exploration and production for BP, said a new leak had been discovered as well. Officials had previously found two leaks in the riser, the 5,000-foot-long pipe that connected the rig to the wellhead and is now detached and snaking along the sea floor. One leak was at the end of the riser and the other at a kink closer to its source, the wellhead.

But Mr. Suttles said a third leak had been discovered Wednesday afternoon even closer to the source. “I’m very, very confident this leak is new,” he said. He also said the discovery of the new leak had not led them to believe that the total flow from the well was different than it was before the leak was found. …

Until Wednesday night, the well had been estimated to be leaking 1,000 barrels, or 42,000 gallons, each day. …

As the investigation into the cause continued, officials, scientists and those who make their living on the Gulf Coast were focused on the impending prospect of the oil’s landfall.

“- nytimes

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